Maritime, Shipping, Canals

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Bristol Port and Channel Nostalgia

Malcolm Cranfield    [Publisher:  Bernard McCall  2013]    Hardback    96 pages

A black and white pictorial album in this publisher's well established format, clear black and white images of ships large and small moving in and out of Avonmouth, mostly photographed from Portishead. There is one view showing Avonmouth dock itself and the captions are well detailed and informative, even to landlubbers!

A History Of British Paddle Steamers

Andrew Gladwell    [Publisher:  Ian Allan  2014]    Hardback    160 pages

A large format book recording the history of ships that were largely built for pleasure, very well illustrated with historic photographs in both black and white and colour. Well designed, with good use of period advertising and ephemera included, this is an interesting and very visually pleasing record of its subject. The wartime period is covered in some detail and overall I hadn't realised just how many of these vessels were constructed.

L.T.C. Rolt A Bibliography

Tim Rolt and Andrew Thynne    [Publisher:  Author  2013]    Softback    76 pages

a celebration and comprehensive catalogue of the writing of Tom Rolt

The Maritime Paintings of Simon Fisher

Simon Fisher    [Publisher:  Author  2012]    Hardback    144 pages

A large landscape format hardback, beautifully printed in full colour, depicting the maritime paintings of a local man and artist whose work has achieved international acclaim. Covering subjects from ocean liners through to warships, including a striking set of six images of "Titanic", each painting is meticulously researched and produced and Simon's interest and feeling for the subjects depicted is clear to see. Many paintings have involved or been commissioned for or by people with connections to the subjects, and their stories greatly enhance the whole thing. I also liked the biographical notes on the Author and his family, together with details on how he came to drawing, his techniques and also his wider interests and model making. Beautifully produced and very much more than just a "picture book".

The Medway Queen

Richard Halton    [Publisher:  Crecy  2012]    Softback    72 pages

Nicely produced to A4 type format and well illustrated on art paper throughout, this is the story of a paddle steamer that was built in 1924, has been sunk twice, and is currently undergoing a complete rebuild. Her involvement in the Dunkirk rescue is covered, as is the the Spithead Review in 1953, this is a fascinating story and a great book.

Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle

Richard Clammer and Alan Kittridge    [Publisher:  Twelveheads  2013]    Softback    76 pages

An attractively produced and informative book in this publisher's pleasing "square softback" format, detailing in words and pictures the life of the last Dart paddle steamer, built in 1924 and last year making a triumphant return to the River Dart for the first time in 45 years. The cover is one of the most eye catching and pleasing that I think I have ever seen on a book and the content is all produced to the same high standard. What a joyous book, and one that makes an ideal companion to a cruise on the "Kingswear Castle" herself, which you can now do through the Torbay Steam Railway operation.

Sail And Steam In The Plymouth District

Alan Kittridge    [Publisher:  Twelveheads  2015]    Softback    156 pages

A charming pictorial record of shipping and river craft in and around Plymouth and the Tamar. Pictures are largely drawn from the author's own collection and in many cases reveal extraordinarily unfamiliar views of places that are familiar to any visitor to the West Country. Speaking as a lover of the "Hall Walk" from Polruan around Pont Pill (I wish they'd get on and fix that lansdslip) I particularly liked the views around Fowey. A fair bit of railway interest running through the book too.

The Somersetshire Coal Canal A Second Pictorial Journey

Roger Halse    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2011]    Softback    56 pages

Originally published by Millstream, this is a delightful collection of images of the Somersetshire Coal Canal, built at the beginning of the Eighteenth Century and closed by railway competition by 1900. The course of the canal was subsequently used by both the Somerset and Dorset Railway's Bath extension of 1874 and the Great Western's Camerton Branch, opened in 1911. Forty years later Monkton Combe station on the GWR branch was immortalised as Titfield in the Ealing Studios film "The Titfield Thunderbolt".

The Wilts and Berks Canal

L.J. Dalby    [Publisher:  Oakwood  2000]    Softback    124 pages

The late Jack Dalby's classic book, reissued with a new chapter and illustrations detailing the exciting restoration developments and hopes. A properly researched "standard" history, complete with fold out period map showing the extent of the canal in its heyday.